DIVA’S DIME: A dinner classic prepared easily at home | Community life

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Here’s a classic comfort food that makes everyone happy. It’s a staple on restaurant menus across the country: the Patty Melt. Imagine a burger patty covered in caramelized onions, brimming with melted Swiss cheese on toasted, buttered rye bread. Delicious, right?

Well, we can make it at home, and it doesn’t cost more to make than a good old hamburger. Come see mom!

If you choose, this recipe lends itself to stretching a dollar by adding a little ground beef filling. A general rule of adding filler is one cup of filler per pound of uncooked burger. Typical fillers include breadcrumbs, oatmeal, cooked vegetables, beans, or lentils.

For this recipe, if you choose to add garnish, I recommend choosing cooked lentils. They add extra vitamins, fiber and protein, providing a nice meaty texture while reducing the amount of fat per serving. If you add 1 1/2 cups of cooked lentils to the recipe below, you will have six patties (six ounces) instead of four. I see tomorrow’s lunch coming.

PATTY FUND

Yield: 4 servings (6 oz patty)

1½ pounds (85/15) hamburger

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for cooking

1/2 teaspoon of pepper

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon butter, plus more softened butter for schmearing

8 slices of Swiss cheese

8 slices of rye bread, marbled rye or sourdough bread

1 cup caramelized onions

1. In a mixing bowl, combine hamburger, salt, pepper and Worcestershire. (If you’re adding lentils, now is the time.)

2. Divide the mixture into 4 (or 6) portions and shape them into patties a little bigger than your bread. Sprinkle each side with a little kosher salt to help make a nice crispy sear on the patties.

3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add a knob of butter and cook the burger patties for 3-4 minutes on each side.

4. To assemble the sandwiches, brush the “outsides” of the bread with butter, place them in the pan butter side down. Add a slice of cheese, a burger patty, a few onions, another slice of cheese, and top with another slice of bread that has been buttered “on the outside”. When the bottom slice of bread is golden brown and delicious, carefully flip it over and toast the other side. Mmmmmmm. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.

5. Keep the dinner vibe going by serving it with fries and coleslaw or a dill pickle.

CARAMELIZED ONIONS

Yield: 1 cup

Duration: 30-45 minutes

1 large yellow onion, about a pound

2 tablespoons of butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

pinch of sugar

Salt and pepper

1. Cut this large onion in half, then in half rings. Make them as thick or thin as you want. The thinner they are, the faster they cook, but thicker slices are sweeter.

2. In a heavy skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and oil together. Add onion and turn to coat; sprinkle with a pinch of sugar to speed up the caramelization. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 25-45 minutes or until deliciously tender and golden brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Now, if I’m going to take the time to caramelize the onions, I do at least a triple batch.

They’re great on EVERYTHING, from burgers, sandwiches, steak, chicken and pork to salads, soups, pizzas, casseroles and omelettes – you name it! Store some in the fridge or freezer to instantly improve almost anything you eat.

Next time you’re shopping for ground beef, get out of the burger rut! Stay away from the burger! Do this instead.

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the recipe, party planning, recipe and content creator for the website “Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” on www.divasonadime.com. © 2022 King Features Synd., Inc.

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